Author Archives: Adam Brown

About Adam Brown

Adam Brown is an assistant professor of political science at Brigham Young University and a research fellow with the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy. You can learn more about him at his website.

What Rep. Watkins teaches us about party and ideology

Rank-and-file legislators know which side their bread is buttered on. Political scientists have made a parlor game of calculating ideology scores for elected officials based on their voting records. The gold standard for the US Congress is the DW-NOMINATE algorithm; you … Continue reading

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Who voted “nay” the most in the 2017 Legislature?

The House had its lowest failure rate in half a decade. As I posted earlier, the Utah Legislature is almost a bipartisan lovefest. Legislators just don’t like voting “nay.” In general, if something gets to the floor, it’s going to … Continue reading

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Who missed the most votes in the 2017 Legislature?

Absenteeism declined  in 2017. My previous two posts had some good news about the 2017 Legislature: Vetting time improved a little, giving the public more time to see most bills, and bipartisanship remained the order of the day. But now … Continue reading

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Utah lawmakers loved to agree in the 2017 Legislature

Most bills that make it to a vote pass comfortably with bipartisan support. The partisan rancor that pervades national politics seldom reaches the Utah Legislature. Simply put, Republicans control such an overwhelming supermajority of seats that they have no need to fear … Continue reading

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The 2017 Utah Legislature passed a record number of bills but slightly improved vetting time

We’re not back to the good old days of 2007-2008, but legislators definitely did better this year at getting their bills out earlier Back in January, I heard a lot of chatter that this would be one of the busiest sessions ever. … Continue reading

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How corrupt is Utah?

On the whole, Utah has lower-than-average levels of political corruption. At length, former Utah Attorney General John Swallow is finally scheduled to face a jury this week. No matter how Swallow’s story ends, however, it marks an aberration. Federal statistics show … Continue reading

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Naysayers in the 2016 Utah Legislature

Even more so than Representatives, Senators really don’t like voting “nay.” Utah legislators don’t like voting no. Well, most of them don’t. Only 3% (House) and 1% (Senate) of floor votes held in 2016 failed, and that was consistent with past … Continue reading

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Who missed the most votes in the 2016 Utah Legislature?

The perfect attendance award goes to Rep. Michael Kennedy, the only legislator to miss zero votes. Utah Legislators had only 45 days to consider 819 bills, passing 475 of them. The Legislature moves at such a breakneck pace that falling ill … Continue reading

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The closest votes of the 2016 Legislature

Two of the session’s closest Senate votes came 45 minutes apart, voting on the same bill, within an hour of adjournment, with opposite results. The Utah Legislature loves consensus. Bills seldom pass on party-line votes. Instead, votes routinely pass with both … Continue reading

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Unanimity remained the rule in the 2016 Utah Legislature

Utah’s Republicans and Democrats vote together more often than they vote against each other. Last fall, House Minority Leader directed a scathing op-ed at his Republican counterparts. Near the end of the 2016 session, Utah’s legislators approved changes to the (traditionally bipartisan) … Continue reading

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